Last week the Council submitted comments to the Council for Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. NEPA, signed into law in 1970, requires federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of major federal actions in their decision-making processes. The proposed rule posted to the Federal Register aims to reinstate NEPA provisions that were modified by the Trump Administration in 2020.
The Council’s letter encouraged CEQ to ensure any changes to NEPA address and limit unnecessary bureaucracy in the federal permitting process and utilize any regulatory changes to bolster investment and growth of important clean energy technologies. Many Energy Workforce Member Companies are subject to NEPA requirements for project permitting and funding at the federal level. In some cases, environmental studies for projects can take up to four years for processing and review, or active projects can be subject to multiple NEPA reviews throughout the life of the project. When so many clean energy projects require federal review, the NEPA process can become burdensome and discourage companies from developing or expanding these important technologies.
CEQ will now review submissions and develop a final rule that is expected to be released in early 2022. The Council will continue to monitor all changes to NEPA regulations and keep Member Companies apprised of final rules as they are released.
If your company is interested in this issue and working with the Council’s Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.